USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs
In dry summers, water is a limited resource. That is why U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden encourages the community to conserve water.
There are multiple ways to use less water in daily life, according to recommendations by the city of Wiesbaden. A dishwasher needs 12-14 liters (3-3.7 gallons) of water per 12 place settings, while a person needs up to 50 liters (13.2 gallons) to wash the same amount of dishes manually.
Washing vegetables in a basin requires less water than rinsing them under running water. The used water can be given to plants afterwards.
Gardens or balcony plants should be watered either in the mornings or in the evenings since direct sunlight makes the water evaporate before it can reach the roots of the plants.
Modern car wash facilities are able to limit their water needs to 150 liters (40 gallons) since they purify the water and reuse it.
A full bathtub takes between 140 liters (37 gallons) and 180 liters (47 gallons) of water, while a normal shower needs approximately 18 liters per minute. Special water saving showers use just 6 liters per minute.
Turning off the water faucet while soaping hands can save up to 70%.
Being aware of how much water one uses on a daily basis is helpful when wanting to cut water consumption. On average, the daily water consumption per capita is 121 liters (32 gallons) in Germany and 300 liters (79 gallons) in the U.S.
The average person uses around 21 liters (5.5 gallons) for flushing the toilet, 45 liters (12 gallons) for the shower, 17 liters (4.5 gallons) for the laundry, 8 liters (2 gallons) for washing the dishes, 5 liters (1.3 gallons) for washing hands and brushing teeth, 7 liters (1.8 gallons) for cleaning the apartment, 3 liters (0.8 gallons) for food and drinking, and 4 liters (1 gallon) for others things such as watering plants.
However, average water consumption is just part of the story, since the so-called virtual water consumption is not included. Virtual water is the water needed for the generation of a product. When taking into account virtual water consumption, every German consumes between 4,000 liters (1,056 gallons) and 5,000 liters (1,320 gallons) of water.
The virtual water consumption of 1 kilo of coffee is 21,000 liters (5,547 gallons), 1 kilo of beef needs 15,000 liters (3,962 gallons), 1 kilo of apples requires 700 liters (185 gallons). The production of a t-shirt requires 2,000 liters (528 gallons), a pair of jeans 11,000 liters (2,906 gallons), a personal computer 20,000 liters (5,283 gallons) and a car 400,000 liters (105,669).
For more information, go to www.wiesbaden.de/medien-zentral/dok/leben/umwelt-naturschutz/Wassersparen2.pdf.